Skip to main content

5 Ways to Overcome Treadmill Boredom

I've been running for six months after starting out as a beginner. I'm keen to share what I have learned to help others new to running.


Since becoming a runner, I regularly find myself running on the treadmill. While I prefer to run outside, when it's dark or raining or I'm already at the gym after a class, I like to run on the treadmill instead.

As you increase your distance and time running on a treadmill, it can become boring very quickly. So here are my top tips to keep you motivated while running on a treadmill.

1. Listen to music

Why not create yourself a specific running playlist?

You can select songs that you just like to listen to or pick those that you feel will help keep you motivated as you run. Consider adding songs of different tempo to your running playlist and vary your run as the song changes. Interval training will keep your runs interesting and can help increase your endurance over time.

2. Watch TV or a movie

If you are lucky enough to have your own treadmill at home in your living room, you can easily flick on the TV or a film.

If not, many gyms now have treadmills that have a TV built in. These treadmills typically allow you to connect your headphones via wire or Bluetooth to access the sound. Usually, these will then allow you to watch live TV or stream videos via Youtube. If you opt for short videos, you can apply the same principle as above by altering your running speed as the video changes. Or if you are watching a live TV programme with adverts, try sprinting through the ad break and return to gentle speed when the programme continues.

Scroll to Continue

3. Take a friend with you

There are many benefits of running with a buddy. Whether you are running indoors or out, having someone else to run with keeps you motivated and aids your running progress. At the gym, you and a running friend can occupy adjacent treadmills. You can simply chat as you run, or you could challenge each other to mini races.

If you are chatting away, just be sure to observe gym etiquette by keeping your voices low so not to disturb other gym goers.

4. Vary your workout

As already mentioned, regularly changing the speed of your run is good for both reducing boredom and increasing running endurance. You can also make changes to the incline here. It might be better to reduce the treadmill speed at first as you get used to running up hill.

If you are preparing for a particular race, you could consider getting information about the course and using this to guide your intervals on the treadmill (i.e. find out how many uphill or flat sections there are in the race and then attempt to replicate this using the settings on the treadmill).

5. Don't just run

Although this article aimed to give you ideas about how to avoid getting bored when running on the treadmill, it is a good idea to remember that running should not be your only form of exercise.

I have previously discussed the importance of incorporating strength training and other workouts into your routine. So if you are finding repeatedly running on the treadmill boring, why not get off and try a different activity or class. Then, next time you get on the treadmill, it might not feel so monotonous.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Claire Bradshaw

Related Articles